Beaches By The Numbers

Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Village & Spa sets the standard for luxury all-included family vacations. It’s the perfect spot for every member of every family, ages 1 to 100. Here are a few reasons to make Beaches Turks & Caicos your next family vacation…

752 ROOMS from condo-style cottages to two-bedroom beachfront villas to oceanview suites with bunk beds and balconies; there’s a home away from home for every family.

92 ACRES of lush tropical gardens and outdoor activities like croquet, tennis, and beach volleyball

21 RESTAURANTS to choose from! Build-your-own tacos at Arizona’s Tex Mex; savour French-inspired fine dining at Le Petit Chateau; pull up a picnic table at The Jerk Shack; or enjoy ocean views from Schooner’s Seafood Grill.

12 MILES of world-famous, perfectly pristine Grace Bay Beach, where white sands, calm waves, and turquoise waters set the scene.

11 SESAME STREET CHARACTERS like Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Julia, entertain the whole family with daily musicals, shows, and meet & greets; host birthday parties and classes; and even tuck little ones in at night.

8 WATERSLIDES at the thrilling Pirate Island Waterpark, complete with lazy river, splash pad, surf simulator, Mr. Mac and Curls ‘n Swirls food trucks, Bobby Dee’s Retro Diner, and, of course a pirate ship.

5 VILLAGES to suit your family’s vacation style – there’s the party-central Italian Village, picturesque French Village, quiet and tranquil Key West Village, and tropically charming Caribbean & Seaside Villages.

1 VOTED FAVOURITE all-inclusive family resort 19 years running by Canadian travel agents!

Story by ASHLEY ROCHEFORT

Up, Up and Away

Up, Up and Away

Among the ways of exploring Turkey’s famed Cappadocia region is by hot-air balloon, which give visitors lofty and dramatic views of Cappadocia’s volcanic terrain, frequently described as moonscape- like. Those keen on the up-up-and-away routine can head skyward in a balloon at sunrise. Flights of an hour or more are available, and passengers may have breakfast on board, followed by a  hampagne toast after they’re back on terra firma. Cappadocia itself has been described as a “wonderland of unique geographic formations sprinkled with green vineyards and fruit orchards.” Its features include the Goreme Open Air Museum, with that volcanic valley home to elaborately painted churches literally hewn from
stone. Bordering valleys and villages are home to people who carved their dwellings from rock. Also of note, the famed Silk Road worked its way through the region long ago and visitors today can see stops built along the route to host wealthy traders. Visitors who prefer to stay closer to the ground can explore
the diverse region on marked hiking trails or by horseback. For details on how to get sky-high views of Turkey’s lunar-like Cappadocia landscape, visit www.turkeytourism.ca.

Story by IAN STALKER

ISLAND INDULGENCE IN BARBADOS

Island Indulgence In Barbados

Collectively known as UNNA Luxury Resorts & Residences, Saint Peter’s Bay and Port Ferdinand resorts offer a heady combination of laid-back luxury, personalized Bajan service, and unforgettable vacation experiences.

Located just five minutes from historic Speightstown, Saint Peter’s Bay sits on an enviably secluded stretch of palm-fringed beach, visible from each of its two-, three-, and five-bedroom villas. Each luxuriously appointed, family-style villa boasts traditional Barbadian architecture and finishes, generous floor plans that maximize open living spaces, breathtaking views, and privacy. Sweeping terraces with spa pools, fully equipped kitchens, and beautiful ensuite bedrooms are accented with marble tiles, white-washed cedar joinery and coral mouldings. Saint Peter’s Bay’s award-winning amenities, including a winding lagoon-style pool, oceanfront dining from The Gazebo Bar & Grill, and access to sister resort Port Ferdinand, make it perfect for discerning families.

Set around a majestic 120-berth marina, Port Ferdinand delivers a stunning selection of one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas. Each beautifully designed villa features marble and limestone finishes, coral stone walls, a fully equipped open-plan kitchen, expansive living spaces, and luxuriously outfitted grand master bedrooms and bathrooms. Port Ferdinand also boasts a world-class array of amenities and services, including a fine-dining harbourside experience at 13/59 Restaurant and Bar Lounge, The Quarterdeck Poolside Bar & Pizzeria, The Sandbox Tree Spa, a fully equipped fitness centre, indoor and outdoor kids’ clubs, as well as an adult recreation centre and golf simulator. Partnering with Nikki Beach, Port Ferdinand recently opened the luxury lifestyle and hospitality brand’s second Caribbean beach club location. On 1.4 acres of beachfront near the mouth of the marina, the club consists of a restaurant, pool, and oceanfront seating for up to 200 guests.

Whether your Barbados dream is a romantic escape, a wellness retreat, or a family vacation, UNNA’s Saint Peter’s Bay and Port Ferdinand luxury resorts are sure to check all the boxes, combining privacy with exceptional service and stylish living with world-class amenities. For more information, visit stpetersbaybarbados.com and portferdinand.com.

TROPICAL FOODIE ADVENTURE

This is the Year of Culinary Experiences in Barbados. Here’s everything you need to know:

Barbados blends the flavours and influences of African, Caribbean, European, and Asian cooking to create the island’s unique Bajan cuisine
Barbados was the first and remains the only island in the Caribbean to be Zagat rated There are more than 100 restaurants around the island, including sophisticated 5-star dining experiences like The Cliff www.thecliffbarbados.com or Cin Cin www.cincinbythesea.com
Don’t miss the national dish Cou-Cou and Flying Fish. This savoury dish is made of cornmeal and okra and served with Flying Fish prepared in any style.
No shirt, no shoes, no problem at casual beachfront eateries like Bombas, Bo’s Plaice and JuJus offering up fresh and tasty authentic fare
For the best in Bajan cuisine, check out the 9th annual Barbados Food & Rum Festival October 18-21, 2018 visitbarbados.org/food-and-rum-festival

BEACH HOPPING

Straddling the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, Barbados’ coastlines vary from gentle beaches to rugged cliffs. The West Coast, where many of the island’s hotels are located, is home to idyllic shores ideal for swimmers and sunbathers. Needham’s Point and Dover Beach, in the South, are best for snorkelling, while Bathsheba on the eastern edge is popular with surfers, featuring miles of untouched coastline.

CATAMARAN CRUISING

Relax on the deck of a luxurious catamaran while gliding over the sparkling, crystal-clear Caribbean waters. At lunchtime, anchor in one of many beautiful coves of Barbados, and enjoy a sumptuous meal prepared by one of the Caribbean’s top chefs.

Story by IAN STALKER

Barbados-head

Rooms With A View

Rooms With A View

Combining comfort with adventure, these unique accommodations offer spectacular views of Mother Nature at her finest and otherworldly experiences that are certain to leave a lasting impression.

Hotel On Skis
FINLAND


Deep in the Arctic tundra of Northern Finland, guests of Off The Map hunt for the Northern Lights from the comfort of a glass-roofed cabin on skis. If the sky is clear, visitors have a 70 % chance of seeing the aurora borealis. In the daytime, go snowshoeing or just enjoy the peace of the Arctic wilderness. Local snacks, hot drinks, and breakfast provided. Cabins include comfortable bed, toilet, table, heater, and stove. Four-day itineraries start at £1,599. www.offthemap.travel

Valley Views
PERU


Guests of Skylodge Adventure Suites in the Sacred Valley near Cuzco ascend a via ferrata about 400 metres above the valley floor to enter a guest room unlike any other. Three transparent “capsules” are secured to a cliff-side, offering vistas of the scenic valley below. Each suite is appointed with four beds, dining area, and bathroom. Rates start at US$415 per night and include guides, equipment, gourmet dinner, wine, and breakfast, all overlooking the Sacred Valley. www.naturavive.com

The Human Nest
CALIFORNIA

At the Treebones Resort in Big Sur, California, guests seeking an elevated camping experience can settle into a treetop, hand-woven, wooden nest for the night. Yes, it’s rustic – guests bring their own sleeping bag and pillows and there is no protection from the elements – but a stay at the Human Nest
earns points for its braggability factor. Rates start at US$175 per night. www.treebonesresort.com

Story by TED DAVIS

To The Nahanni And Beyond

Nahanni National Park, UNESCO’s First World Heritage Site, is one of Canada’s largest and most magnificent nature reserves. Accessible only by air, it borders on a portion of the Mackenzie Mountain Range. The South Nahanni River flows through the deep canyons, past steaming hot springs, across alpine tundra, and past Rabbitkettle, a 30-metre-high mound of fragile limestone layers of tufa.

The mystique surrounding the Gold Rush holds irresistible allure. Planes land on the shores, allowing visitors to step into the scenery, while river trippers portage around. Abundant wildlife – including Dall’s sheep – wander the plateaus and diverse terrain. Experience first-hand flight-seeing on a journey into some of Canada’s most breathtaking scenery of untamed rivers and jagged mountains. Simpson Air, the first air charter company in Fort Simpson, offers fly-in and fly-over day tours, charters for a “plan your own tour,” or canoe rental and fly-in fishing gear rental. Whatever your dream wilderness experience is – canoeing, kayaking, rafting, mountain climbing, hiking, wilderness lodging, Northern Lights viewing – Simpson Air can make it reality.

A must-do stopover is the Nahanni Mountain Lodge at Little Doctor Lake, nestled at the foot of the Mackenzie Mountains where they rise from the Interior Plains. The original lodge was home to pioneers Mary and Gus Kraus who passed it on to Ted Grant, chief pilot and owner of Simpson Air, to preserve and promote their passion for this majestic land. Cast off in a motorboat to explore, or grab a canoe and paddle to the river. Throw in a line and fish for dinner. Enjoy the sandy beach and shallow waters or hike up the back of the grand buttresses through “the gap.” This historic homestead is ideal for families, groups, or your own private getaway. A unique stay with lodging, tour choice, and airfare for up to 12 guests.

Fort Simpson, the oldest established trading post in the Mackenzie Valley, can be reached by air via Yellowknife. Local services include all the basic amenities to support your journey. Reserve online at http://simpsonair.ca or talk to us about your wilderness dreams at 1-866-995-2505 or info@simpsonair.ca.

Bermuda Luxe

A Five-Day Escape

Bermuda’s pristine waters, old-world glam, elegant hotels, and cultural pursuits are made for leisure and luxury. Leave ordinary behind on a five-day escape tailored to those in search of exclusive experiences. Just a three-hour flight from Toronto, Bermuda feels a world away.

DAY 1
Cultural Capital

Take in a healthy breakfast at Devil’s Isle Cafe before exploring Bermuda’s cultural centrepiece, Hamilton. Discover the historic Hamilton Princes hotel and its renowned modern art collection followed by lunch at internationally acclaimed chef Marcus Samuelsson’s restaurant, Marcus. Then, shop the afternoon away at Alexandra Mosher Studio Jewellery for delicate jewellery inspired by the island’s pink sand, find eclectic gifts and clothing personally curated by owner Nicole Golden at Urban Cottage, and visit Della Valle, where you’ll be fitted for custom-made leather sandals. For dinner, head to Barracuda Grill for fresh seafood, suckling pig, and their signature gingerbread toffee pudding. Cap off the evening with a craft cocktail at Yours Truly.

DAY 2
Gardens & Hideaways

Take an in-depth “Arts in the Garden” tour of the Bermuda Botanical Gardens and Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art expertly arranged by Bermuda Explorer. In the afternoon, tour the island by taxi. Bermuda’s knowledgeable drivers double as guides – a great way to gather insider info, leaving you feeling like a local. Treat yourself to dinner at the AAA Four Diamond award-winning steakhouse in a refurbished 1670 cottage, Waterlot Inn. Reservations required.

DAY 2
Gardens & Hideaways

Take an in-depth “Arts in the Garden” tour of the Bermuda Botanical Gardens and Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art expertly arranged by Bermuda Explorer. In the afternoon, tour the island by taxi. Bermuda’s knowledgeable drivers double as guides – a great way to gather insider info, leaving you feeling like a local. Treat yourself to dinner at the AAA Four Diamond award-winning steakhouse in a refurbished 1670 cottage, Waterlot Inn. Reservations required.

DAY 3
Spa Day
For an unconventional and unforgettable spa experience, opt for an underground treatment at Grotto Bay Beach Resort’s Natura Spa. Melt away stress on a crystal-clear subterranean lake in a stunning 500,000-year-old cave. For dinner, make your way to The Beach Club At Rosewood Bermuda. Just steps away from a private beach with dramatic ocean views, the casual setting boasts a sophisticated menu.

DAY 4
Local Flavours

Join a Bermudian family for a home-cooked breakfast through Bermuda Explorer. After making new friends, head over to The Bermuda Perfumery in the town of St. George where island-inspired scents are blended and hand-bottled. They also offer tours, afternoon tea, and perfume-making workshops. Break for lunch at Tempest Bistro before visiting Fort St. Catherine, a fascinating historic military site. Enjoy a seasonal seafood menu while watching the sunset at The Beach House Restaurant.

DAY 5
On The Water

A day-long boat charter is the highlight of any Bermuda vacation. Thinking Of Bermuda boats range from casual 30-foot to honeymoon-worthy 100-foot yachts. Snorkel coral reefs and shipwrecks, sip a Dark ‘n Stormy®, and dine under the stars. Miles Market makes it a breeze to stock up on local produce and an array of international cheese, chocolates, and wine.

Pack your Bermuda best, and catch a flight to luxury’s favourite destination. For more information, visit www.gotobermuda.com.

Over-the-water Opulence

This romantic retreat is closer to home than you think.

The sun shimmers across the turquoise water as The Royal Duffy – the boat connecting guests from the shores of Sandals Royal Caribbean in Jamaica to its private island – approaches a heartshaped dock, home to The Caribbean’s first all-inclusive over-the-water villas. With palapa-style architecture, see-through glass floors, a plunge pool or Sandals’ signature Tranquility Soaking Tub for two, outdoor shower, and massive hammocks, this luxurious oasis feels miles away from the ordinary. But these over-the-water villas are closer to home than you may think, located just a short drive from the Montego Bay airport or a direct flight away from several major Canadian cities. Once here, travellers can snorkel, dive and swim directly from their private refuge, that is, if they can tear themselves away from their spacious suite.

DID YOU KNOW? The villas were inspired by Adam Stewart’s (the Deputy Chairman of Sandals Resorts) honeymoon in The Maldives.

WHERE ARE THEY? The first over-the-water villas and bungalows were built at Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort & Private Island in Montego Bay, but over-the-water bungalows are now also at Sandals South Coast in Jamaica and Sandals Grande St. Lucian in Saint Lucia.

LUXURY SERVICE Trained in accordance to the standards of the Guild of Professional Butlers – who provide butlers to the likes of nobility and celebrities – each over-the-water suite features butler services such as unpacking or packing suitcases, getting clothes laundered, drawing bubble baths, serving breakfast in bed, or setting up private dinners.

THE INNOVATION GAME Since 1981, Sandals Resorts has continued to redefine the all-inclusive concept. It was the first Caribbean vacation provider to offer many now-mainstream features and amenities, such as Jacuzzis and swim-up pool bars.

GET INSPIRED Search #SandalsSuiteLife, and you’ll get a sense of the Instagram-worthy escapes that await.

Story by ANN RUPPENSTEIN